State Deputy's Message

State Deputy’s Message – October 1, 2021

Greetings Your Excellencies, Reverend Fathers, my Brother Knights.

Yesterday was the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. I do hope people stopped for a moment to reflect on many of the conditions and situations that lead to the events that occurred. Many tragedies occurred in and out of these schools. So, we need to pray for all those affected by these events throughout history to have peace and social correction.  We all watch the news and see the media’s continued attacks on the Catholic Church due to the Church’s involvement (many Faiths were involved in the operations of these schools: Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian, or United, but the Roman Catholic Church has received the brunt of the media’s rage). I have seen many other discussions, which showed a more positive view on how the Church has helped many communities or different versions of facts about the numbers. We know the media will never share those stories. But I do ask that we do not retaliate with other facts, but simply that we recognize many had different experiences related to these schools and the surrounding issues in society. And to recognize that it will take time before people heal.

On Friday, September 24th, the Catholic Bishops of Canada stated an apology to all the Indigenous Peoples of this Land. I hope people were able to read the apology and shared it. We need to recognize the healing process will take time. There will be a period of sharing the truth & identification of faults, followed by a period of apologies & acknowledging faults, and hopefully a period of forgiveness. For reconciliation to be genuine, as we know from our Faith, forgiveness is critical for Reconciliation. We may stumble along the way, but if we are genuine in our actions, and we do make mistakes, we can ask for forgiveness, and we can be reconciled in our relationship & Faith with Christ.

What do we need to do now as Knights? We need to support our Bishops, our Priests, and our Church. There will continue to be some trying times, but they need our prayers and support now more than ever. There are many ways we can help.

  • To contribute locally to the provincial TRC Healing response which will be a part of the $30 million National Pledge which was announced this week. 
  •  To be faithful in our devotion to the Church and attend Mass, to say thank you to our Bishops, Priests and all the Faithful, to show they have our support.
  •  To encourage those who may have fallen away to return to the Church. As Knights, we have been called to evangelize for our Church, to be the light for those who may be in darkness.
  •  We know many parishes are struggling for many reasons already due to the ongoing Covid pandemic. I would ask that the Council members reach out to their Priests as ask how they can help him and the Parish. Check out the Covid Recovery Program at www.kofc.org.

There is one more thing we can do as Knights. We can invite other Catholic men to join us. Here is what we all know: If a man (and his family) is attending Church during the current times, he will have a stronger than average Faith. We need to do our best to get some bums in the benches and have them return. We also know that when a man joins, he is looking for ways to help develop his spiritual relationship with Christ. Supreme continues to offer FREE ONLINE MEMBERSHIP.  www.kofc.org/joinus (enter promocode MCGIVNEY2020). Now, you may challenge that Supreme or State is simply looking for numbers. Yes, but No. “Yes” is that in the past year, we have lost more members to death, suspensions, and withdrawals, than ever before. We are all concerned for the Health of the Councils and its members. We know we need to replace these lost men. We know we have many Council members who are tired, they are exhausted. Can you see yourself doing this for another 10-20-30 years? Probably not. But if we can invite new men, new energy, and new ideas into our Councils, into the Parish, maybe we can share the work with that many more hands and we can see things get better. So “YES” we need more members, but not for simply getting numbers, we need more men to help in our programs. Our Church needs the assistance and support of the dedicated members of the Knights of Columbus of Saskatchewan.

The other part to share, and remind you about: as men join online, they have free membership for one year. FREE. Meaning the Council FS or Retention team doesn’t need to worry about billing or mailing. As long as he remains an online member, there is no financial obligation to the Council. Having said this, we know many Councils are struggling with recruiting men. When a man joins online, that means he has already checked us out; he wants to be involved with us. Why wouldn’t we reach out to him to meet him, to invite him to a Council or Parish activity, to get him involved in anything? Crudely put, we don’t need candy to lure the guy to the van, he is already looking in the window. He wants in. Reach out to him. Let’s make this a positive experience for him. Then, in time, and if the interest remains high by the man, we will invite him into the Council (using the “new” Combined Exemplification).

As we enter the second quarter of the Columbian year, we share some membership incentives with our members for October to December. Please note, these will be the best incentives we can share until June. Meaning, if you are inspired to recruit men to join by these incentives, these next couple of months will bring the best reward to you this Columbian year. They won’t get better; the rewards will be reduced as we progress towards May. So, I ask you not to wait, I am asking you to act now.

Have you or any members of your Council attended any of the “Canadian Training Menu” training sessions provided by the Canadian Territorial Growth Director and the Canadian team of Regional Growth Directors? These sessions are regularly scheduled, they are live and interactive, the topics are relevant to the time of the Columbian year schedule. Please consider attending one. The menu is on the State website for your review.  Also, if a Council is looking for a particular training session, please reach out to our State Trainer, PSD Bob Barkman. He is willing to help all the Councils wherever they need assistance. I know people in all positions can use tips on the latest information, working with the latest “Hot off the Press” items. Please sign up to receive the information from the various sites (listed below). Feel free to share this information with all the Council members. Everyone can benefit from these training sessions. These links below will take you to the sign-up links:

  • the Saskatchewan Knightline – link here
  • Weekly email updates from Sask State – link here
  • Supreme Fraternal Leader Advisory – link here
  • Knightline (a Supreme weekly news email) – link here

As we continue into the year, I continue to pray that Blessed Michael McGivney protects you and your families to get through this 4th wave of the Covid-19 pandemic (and its end).

Until the next time: Stay Safe, Stay Healthy.

Joseph Riffel

Vivat Jesus!
Joseph Riffel   
Saskatchewan State Deputy 
CAKC President
#LeaveNoNeighbourBehind
#InTheFootstepsoftheFather

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